Integer/Linear Mathematical Programming Models: A Tool for Allocating Healthcare Resources
Stephanie R. Earnshaw
Susan L. Dennett
In today's environment, the demand for efficient healthcare resource allocation is increasing. As new technologies become available, allocation decisions become more complex and tools to assist decision makers in determining efficient allocations of healthcare resources are encouraged. Mathematical programs have multiple properties that are desirable for healthcare decision makers such as the simultaneous consideration of multiple constraints and a built-in sensitivity analysis. These models have been well researched and are considered invaluable in other industries. Mathematical programming has also become increasingly visible in facilitating the allocation of healthcare resources in the health services research sector. However, the use of mathematical programming tools has been limited in economic evaluations of new technologies. Budget allocations, such as formulary, drug development, and pricing decisions may benefit greatly from the use of mathematical programs. As an increasing number of expensive new technologies become available and pressure grows to contain healthcare costs, these tools may help guide a more efficient allocation of resources for technologies under budgetary and other constraints.
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